The Prince George’s County Planning Board Thursday approved a major change to the layout of the 500-acre Westphalia Town Center, cutting back on plans for office in the core in favor of a 700,000-square-foot, 1,000-plus employee “merchandise supply center.”
The word on the street? Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is coming.
County officials declined to comment — we’re told they are under a strict non-disclosure agreement. But the contract purchaser of the Westphalia site is Duke Realty Corp. (NYSE: DRE), a logistics-focused real estate investment trust whose No. 1 client, by far, is Amazon. The description reads very much like a center that just opened in South Florida. And residents in the area, worried about truck traffic, architecture and other effects, wrote to the planning board in advance of the meeting making such a claim based on what they have heard.
Amazon has a host of logistics centers and warehouses in Greater Washington, from Sterling to Springfield to Rockville. But at 700,000-plus square feet, if this is in fact Amazon, the Westphalia center would be about five times the size of the largest existing facility, a 157,300-square-foot Whole Foods distribution center in Landover. That is according to MWPVL International, a global supply chain consulting firm that tracks Amazon’s network.